Sports Minister, John Enoh, has assured that government would ensure the resuscitation of facilities at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, not only to meet international best standards, but also because it is a ‘definitive national monument.’
Speaking, after his first official inspection tour of the edifice, Enoh said the facility has the capacity to become one of the best multipurpose stadium complexes in Africa and as such government would ensure the maintenance of the current infrastructure with a view to making it better, in line with global standards.
He said: “Amidst the so much that I have seen here, the positives and the negatives, this stadium is a very definitive national monument. There is about nothing that you will find elsewhere that you cannot find here.
“However, from 2003 till date, the facility has gone through a lot. The ministry under my leadership will do all that it can, to get every part of the stadium functional, including the athletes’ hostel, because athletes must have the best, to be the best.”
Enoh explained that the tour was to enable him to understand the state of the edifice, and also find a systematic approach towards ensuring the development of sports in the country.
“We embarked on this tour because whatever one wants to do, we must do it from a standpoint of knowledge, and that is what I am doing. Yesterday (Tuesday) was my first day at work and I had the opportunity to take reports and briefings from all the departments. We are trying to be as systematic as we can, with the process,” he said.
The minister acknowledged that facilities and infrastructure were key components of sports, saying, “they are variables that drive both elite performance and grassroots development. It is, therefore, very important that we get it right, we must maintain the current infrastructure that we have and look towards making them better, to match what we have across the world.”
Enoh said that sports is a peculiar sector that excites so much passion in all Nigerians, affirming that the passion informed President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s decision to separate the sector from other aspects of the nation’s life and also make him pilot of the sector.
The minister, who inspected the facility alongside the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, were led on the tour by the Director of Facilities and Stadium Management in the Ministry, Alanamu Abolore.
He said that he would visit other sporting facilities across the country to assess their state to take definitive action on their development.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Abubakar thanked the minister for creating time to inspect the facilities and assured him that officials and staff of the ministry would continue to ensure full implementation of policies, initiatives, programmes and projects of the Federal Government for the growth and development of the nation.